Curavit Clinical Research, a virtual contract research organization (VCRO) partnered with digital recruitment specialist company, 1nHealth, to take a digitally aligned approach for patient recruitment and retention in Lark Health’s decentralized clinical trial.
The partnerships first collaboration focused on Lark Health’s trial of an investigational digital therapeutic (DTx) for chronic cardiovascular disease.
1nHealth recruited patients for Lark’s Heart Health trial through targeted ads on digital media channels. Dan Brenner, CEO of 1nHealth, explained that digitally based recruitment is different than a traditional approach to trial recruitment. 1nHealth, according to Brenner, uses the “tapestry of the entire internet where the participant is likely to be hanging out.”
Roughly 40% of patients who clicked on the targeted ads went on to complete the pre-screen form. Together Curavit and 1nHealth successfully recruited, consented, and enrolled 150 patients.
Dave Hanaman, co-founder and CCO of Curavit, told us “VCROs, of course, rely on partners and patient recruitment remains one of the more difficult, challenging, and greatest areas of opportunity in clinical trials. We reached out to 1nHealth and fundamentally liked their approach.”
Hanaman explained that the VCRO prides itself on what he calls a “digital first” approach for designing and executing DCTs and 1nHealth aligned with that digital approach.
“When we talk about ‘digital first’ design we’re really talking about designing with knowledge and experience around digital health processes and incorporating those from the very beginning in protocol design,” said Hanaman. He added, “1nHealth is very much a digital health company as well.”
“For us ‘digital first’ means, we put ourselves in the lens of the participant. In the handset their using, the phone that their using, the computer that their using and the occasion that they’re browsing social, or search and we try to make our ads representative of their mindset and what their focused on,” said Brenner.
“Whether [that mindset is] immediately about their condition in terms of search, or if its prospecting and it’s not about their condition at that point in terms of social,” Brenner added.
According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), 90% of clinical trials are delayed due to insufficient patient enrollment. Hannaman explained that DCT’s have become very popular out of need spurred by the Covid-19 pandemic, and because its “the cool new thing” in the clinical trial space. However, without the right approach and recruitment Hanaman said he “would argue that many of the efforts out there are the worst of both worlds; an effort to shoehorn technology into an otherwise traditional trial.”
“There is a real promise that DCTs and [their] processes will allow for increased and better patient experience and engagement, but the proof is in the operational process,” said Hanaman.
Lark’s Heart Health program is designed to help patients manage cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk factors and reduce the rate of future CVD events through a smartphone. The program uses conversational artificial intelligence (AI), connected devices, and remote patient monitoring to active and engage patients by addressing CVD risk factors.